How to Read the Body Language and Facial Expressions
How to Read the Body Language?
Have you thought that your posture makes you transparent?
Stand or sit, but don’t hesitate. Zen proverb
Stand naturally in front of the mirror. Do you see?
The simplest posture of all, standing, already says a lot about yourself. Furthermore, it can indicate health problems and maybe they can even be corrected. Almost all of us tend to be slightly stooped, not naturally straight. Others exaggerate and are as stuffy as a 19th-century English Lord.
Your body says more than you imagine, especially when it comes to self-confidence…
Body language comprises the hundreds of messages that we emit from our gestures, actions, postures and physical attitude in general.
Many people have body language that doesn’t help the rest of the people approach him, talk to him or show signs of sympathy. And this is a vicious circle since this is how they convince themselves that no one loves them, that no one is interested in them, that they are worthless and they usually decide they have to live with it, being as happy as possible with what little company they can get. And this is also noticeable in his body language, with which the vicious circle deepens.
Therefore, it is necessary to manage to change the corporal attitude, come across as friendly and personable, as someone with whom others feel comfortable and want to start a conversation. And no doubt, this can be achieved.
Furthermore, this is also a circle – in this case, a virtuous one in which the new attitude generates new signs of adequate socialization, which result in greater confidence, with the consequent improvement in body language, which in turn leads to greater confidence.
How to know people by their body language?
As said before, a string, only, in this case, one that favors us.
There are some attitudes in body language that we should try to avoid at all costs.
- Lack of eye contact.
- Nervous gestures, such as constantly fiddling with something that we have in our hands or drum nonstop on the desk.
- Look at the ground constantly. You have to raise your head and look forward with confidence.
- Curl up in the chair.
- Facial expression, unfriendly, serious, frown, always focused in our problems.
And what is there to do?
Eye contact all the time, and with all people, both as much as possible. It must be clarified that without abusing, a “stuck” look is a symptom of mental imbalance and puts on guard who receives it.
Tranquility and smoothness in gestures
Head always upright, looking forward, with the straight back and straight shoulders, looking at the panorama ahead of us, always ahead. The teachers of Zen meditation says, we should carry our heads as if they were pulling us from a hair of the crown. If the head is in the correct position, it is very likely that the rest of the body follows. Don’t forget to try it in the mirror.
A neutral to the happy expression on the face, friendly if you want, always calm.
People avoid starting conversations with those who they have tired, annoyed, unhappy, scornful expressions, uninteresting, incredibly boring. Not because they dislike a person who is going through one of these moments characteristics, but because they are uncomfortable with the idea of that they will have to listen to their problems and probably not they will know what to say, or they will end up in an awkward situation. Or yet now you can understand the gestures!
Let’s go straight into an exercise.
PRACTICE: For the next week, make eye contact and smile at everyone you meet, whether or not they are acquaintances. You don’t need to tell them anything, just smile, but in a natural and sincere way, without exaggeration, with naturalness. I know that it seems strange and that at first cost. I am sure you will be amazed at the results. Many people will greet you, even if they don’t know you, or they only know you by sight. It is the power of the smile.
OBSERVE: Go back to the mirror and smile at yourself. How do you feel? We smile because we are fine with us, but it also works the other way around: the gesture can generate emotion. Smiling when you don’t feel like smiling at yourself will make you feel better. Do the test.
The smile is generally used to express happiness, joy, sympathy or to hypocritically disguise a situation as uncomfortable.
You might also be interested in the Advantages and disadvantages of non-verbal communication.
There are many types of smiles; each one has a special meaning that depends on what the person feels inside.
Do you know the truth behind a smile?
- A light smile, one of those that is barely noticeable, expresses insecurity, doubt and lack of trust.
- A simple but intense smile is say when there is not a laugh but the corners of the lips they lift a lot and can be seen in the upper teeth implies confidence usually means that the person is giving a genuine smile.
When someone places their palm down, they acquire immediately authority. The receiving person feels that is giving an order.
The palm closed in a fist, with the finger pointing to the direction, it is the symbolic plane with which one hits the one who listens to make him obey.
Shaking hands is a vestige when two cavemen meet found, raised their arms with the palms insight to show that they did not hide any weapon.
Over the centuries, this gesture of display of the palms was transformed into others like the one with the raised palm for the greeting, the palm on the heart, and many others.
The modern form of that ancestral gesture of greeting is to hold hands gently and shake.
In the West, this greeting is practiced when meeting and saying goodbye and several shakes are usually made.
Submissive and dominant handshakes:
Taking into account what has already been said about the strength of a petition made with palms facing up or down, let’s study the importance of those positions in the handshake.
Find out how they work!
Sometimes the person you are with while conversing adopts the posture of having his head looking towards us but the body and the feet pointing toward the exit or toward another person. That is showing the direction the person would like to have. If this is observed one should end the conversation.
As if one had taken the decision to end it or seek to do something that interests the other.
Angles and triangles
The two ladies indicate with their posture have the same social status and not be talking about anything personal. Is it so inviting (with the triangle they form) someone’s social position similar to participating in the chat?
When dialogue requires a certain intimacy, the angle formed by the torsos of both people is less than 90 degrees.
Let’s tell the truth. We are animals
On this planet all living beings are territorial. Human beings do not escape this quality. Just like a predator marks its hunting territory and feels threatened if we trespass distance, the same thing happens to us human beings.
It is convenient to know the distances in which the hominids unwrap naturally. These distances vary according to cultures and people and for some is a comfortable distance for others it is a clear threat.
The radius of the bubble around a person can be divided into four clear zonal distances:
1. Intimate area (from 15 to 45 cm): It is the most important and is the fit that a person cares for as his property, only allowed entrance to those who are very close to the person emotional, such as lover, parents, children, close friends and family members.
2. Personal zone (between 46 cm and 1.22 meters): It is the distance that separates people in a social gathering, or from the office, and at parties.
3. Social zone (between 1.22 and 3.6 meters): That is the distance that separates us from strangers, from the plumber, from the one who does home repairs, suppliers, people that we do not know well.
4. Public area (more than 3.6 meters): It is a comfortable distance to address a group of people. Although we tolerate intruders in the personal and social zone, the intrusion of a stranger in the intimate zone causes physiological changes in our bodies. That’s why I put my arm around the shoulders of someone you just met, even if it’s from a very friendly manner can make the person take a negative attitude towards you.
The individual’s sense of self is not limited by their skin; I know move within a kind of private bubble, which represents domination. The positions at the ends too seem to involve a factor of status or domain. In work areas, people will tend to sit further away from people of high status and lower status than of their pairs.
How the students would sit in different work situations?
People were asked to imagine sitting at a table with a friend of the same sex in each of the following situations:
- Conversation: Sit and chat for a few minutes before class.
- Cooperation: Sit and study together for the same exam.
- Co-action: Sit down and study for different exams.
- Competition: Compete to see who will be the first to solve a series of problems.
- The talks involved seating arrangements in the corner in rectangular tables, and the contiguity in the tables round.
- The cooperation seems to avoid a preponderance of the side-by-side choices.
- For the co-action, the further apart seating positions.
- For the competition, most chose the facing-facing seating arrangement.
How to use body language in negotiation and job interviews?
In a negotiation, it is essential to take care of all the details and, how could it be otherwise, also non-verbal language.
When we talk of body language we do not refer only to the gestures, mime and posture, but to how much a person emanates with his presence. Our aspect says if we are respectful, considerate, self-centered or discreet.
10 Body Language tips for a Negotiation:
1. Go flawless from head to toe. This shows respect and consideration towards his interlocutor and shows how he behaves with you. If you are not sure about your image and clothing, ask for advice.
2. Stand straight and upright, not rigid, in this way, emanate confidence and self-assurance.
3. Make sure your handshake is firm but not strong. Firmness conveys confidence and autonomy, while a weak handshake reveals a lack of security.
4. Wait to be invited to sit, is a sign of good manners. Sitting down uninvited denotes arrogance or rudeness.
5. Assume a safe posture in the seat. Don’t sit on the brink of the chair; will give an image of an insecure and fearful person.
6. Remain calm and convey calm, self-discipline, and self-control.
7. Maintain moderate eye contact and do not stare at your interlocutor. If you speak before a group, regularly look at each competitor.
8. Smile whenever you want and can, if you think it’s appropriate. If you think not
You’re right, work on your mental attitude and not your body language.
9. Keep your distance, about arm’s length. The refrain of confidences like pats on the shoulder, they can be wrong received even if they are made with the best intentions.
10. Try not to turn your back on anyone.
The secrets to impose our personality:
The face is the focal point of our body that we first notice when we meet a person for the first time, and the traits we engrave on our memory to recognize that person if we meet her.
It is proven that having a wide and clear face is equivalent to several points in our favor in terms of the impact we have on others when projecting our personality, but since we all do not have this advantage there are certain gestures that will help us to intimidate others.
Avoid constantly blinking: What’s more, try blinking as little as possible as constant blinking denotes hesitation and insecurity.
At all times try to keep your gaze direct: Establish eye contact with the eyes of your interlocutor, always keeping them fixed. This reveals decisive sincerity and courage.
Do not bite your lips or moisten them with your tongue. They are signs of shyness, insecurity, hesitation and indecision.
Keep your mouth closed, both lips together while listening to your interlocutor. This denotes calm and security in itself, instead of the open mouth, the dropped jaw, suggests nervousness, haste, astonishment and surprise.
Caution when sitting down!
When analyzing the positions which the human being adopts when sitting it is evident that these reveal our intentions and emotions at a given moment. Send precise messages according to the position it adopts when sitting and the movements you make with your hands, arms and legs.
Do you know that you can detect lies?
The chance to pretend
A frequently heard question is: “Is possible to fake it in body language?” The general answer is “No” because the lack of congruence would be manifested between the gestures main, the micro-signals of the body and the spoken language. For example palms, insight is associated with honesty, but when the faker opens his palms out and smiles while he tells a lie, the micro-gestures give him away.
Pupils may contract or an eyebrow may be raised, or a commissure may tremble, and these signals contradict the gesture of display the palms of the hands and the “sincere” smile. The result is that the listener tends not to believe what the phony is saying.
The human mind seems to possess an infallible mechanism that records the deviation when it receives a series of messages, not incongruous verbs. But there are some cases where simulates body language expressly to gain certain advantages.
Let’s think about the contests to choose Miss World or Miss Universe, in which each participant studies how to move to give an impression of warmth and sincerity. Depending on the mode in which each participant sends those signals, more or more will be obtained fewer points from the judges, but since even the experts only can fake body language for a short time, the time will come when the body begins to emit signals independent of conscious action. You may also like the 12 unconscious female Body Language Signals of attraction.
Sign language analysis
More than a million years ago, a man began to communicate through body language, but only studied scientifically in the last twenty years. The study is popularized during the 1970s. Charles Chaplin and many correct, adjusted or expressive, applaud the good, criticize the bad as the most normal way to improve. But have learned, once, what the gestures say will help us to be freer and so that our second-grade naturalness agrees according to the unlearned universal code of most elementals.
Catching the liar
Body language is linked to the emotions of every individual, is expressed unconsciously and is always spontaneous. Words can deceive but not our body. But,
How to recognize the body language of a liar?
There are several signs of body language to discover a liar, however, there is a rule: we must identify the least two gestures that confirm the same message of suspicion.
Let’s look at some examples:
Liars when answering a question make long pauses and give short answers. Take longer in answering than a nervous person, because they need more time to invent the lie. Instead, for a nervous person, remembering the truth takes less time. However, we must verify our suspicions by observing the movement of their eyes:
A. People tend to look up and to the right imagine or create a new response, and below to the right to create the sound of a new argument.
B. People tend to look up to the left to recall information from the past.
How to influence people with Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
We can consider Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) like the software of the human brain. This technique describes how the mind works and is structured, how people think, learn, motivate, interact, communicate, evolve and change. Through the detailed study of communication, verbal or non-verbally, NLP becomes an excellent means of self-knowledge and personal evolution.
NLP allows resolving some limitations, such as phobias, fears and similar situations in a few work sessions.
Results that can be obtained, among others:
- Increases self-confidence.
- Improves communication.
- Each person finds untapped resources.
- Significantly increases creativity.
- Improves health.
- Change in the belief system, especially the negative.
- Helps to live more in the HERE AND NOW.
NLP has its origins in the 70’s in the University of California, Santa Cruz, USA, where Richard Bandler (mathematician, gestalt psychologist and computer expert) and John Grinder (linguist) studied the behavior patterns of human beings to develop models and techniques that could explain the magic and illusion of behavior and communication in human. The origin of their research was their curiosity about understanding how communication and language produced changes in people’s behavior.
Neuro-linguistic Programming helps us to know all these moods and use them to our advantage if we decide to observe more.
What are eye movements?
The authors of NLP have observed that the movements involuntary movements of the eyes in one direction or another are related to the person’s way of thinking.
We direct our eyes in some directions rather than in others as we form mental images or if we speak or if we feel emotions. When an eye movement is observed…
It means that a certain way of thinking prevails. It’s a sign of more access that we have at the moment of wanting to communicate or make ourselves better understood in the context of the communication. The looks like the words transmit messages, that can be decoded.
Thus the observation of eye movements serves mainly to adapt better to our interlocutor, to observe in it the mental sequences it goes through.
How can the movement of the eyes be interpreted?
The gaze has basically three types of directions: visual, kinesthetic and internal dialogue.
Usually, the visual mental representations are accompanied by eyes movements’, either up or forward.
If it is directed upwards, the gaze can go to the left, to the center or right; forward corresponds to the expression “have a lost look”; then, it is defocused, the pupils often slightly dilated. They are very varied movements, more or less durable, more or less marked.
If you like to seduce, this interests you
Nervousness, expressed by a tremor in hands or voice confusion, forgetting names or dates, things falling off the hands or a certain clumsiness in the movements, are signs that we have impressed the person we have in front.
But the best way to know if someone is interested in us person is to see how he is situated in relation to us: if he approaches, if casually stands next to us, if when sitting down he chooses a place close or if when walking he matches his step to ours, all these are excellent signs.
When we are the object of someone’s desire, it usually approaches us by being confident and approachable, his arms are usually relaxed and in an open position and the feet are directed in our address. If he sits, watch how he does it: if he crosses the legs and directs them in your direction, if the arms protect the body or are confident, etc.
These are details that will give you some sure clues. If you bother a little to learn the language of the body, soon you will be able to know with very little margin of error if someone is interested in you or not.
You’ll know that she likes you, if…
- She looks at you out of the corner of her eye… and averts her gaze when she crosses you.
- Cross her legs slowly in front of you.
- Makes gestures showing the wrists and palms.
- She touches her hair when she talks to you.
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